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Social Work Micro Practice: Background Information
Background information provides a general overview of and context for a research topic, event, or policy. It is a great place to find important vocabulary and concepts, relevant names of people or places, and dates of specific events. Data and statistics are also considered background information and can help determine things like prevalence. What these have in common is that they give you the big picture before you start digging into the scholarly research.
Finding good background information on a general topic can help you turn that topic into a Research Question, or narrow down a Research Question that is too broad.
They will also help you determine what vocabulary and background concepts you will need to identify relevant peer-reviewed sources in the databases and identify more specific areas of your topic that you may want to research further.
An online search tool that provides information and instruction on research methods. It is aimed at university students, researchers, and faculty and is designed to answer methods questions that arise during the various steps of the research process, including the literature search, review, research design, data collection, analysis, and write up.
SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods contains content from over 720 books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, the entire “Little Green Book”, the "Little Blue Book” series, two major works collating a selection of journal articles, and specially commissioned videos. Researchers can explore methods and concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.
Gale Ebooks (formerly named Gale Virtual Library or GVRL) provides a wealth of full-text reference and general subject books in a wide variety of subjects.
Sources offered in the GVRL include multi-volume encyclopedias, biographical collections, business plan handbooks, company histories, consumer health references and history compilations. A wide variety of subjects are covered including arts, biography, business, education, environment, history, law, medicine, multicultural, religion and science.
This landmark work describes the state of the art in all the fields encompassed within the social and behavioral sciences
This landmark 26 volume work describes the state of the art in all the fields encompassed within the social and behavioral sciences. It presents thousands of articles that address topics within fields such as: Anthropology, Archaeology, Clinical Psychology, Community Psychology, Crime and Criminality, Demography, Developmental Psychology, Economics, Gender Studies, Geography, Health, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Justice Studies, Management, Motivational/Emotional Psychology, Personality Psychology and Self, Political Science, Psychiatry, Social Psychology, Sociology, and Urban Studies. It covers overarching topics and methodologies such as institutions and infrastructure, history of the social and behavioral sciences, ethics of research and applications, biographies, statistics, as well as integrative concepts and issues.
Full text access to titles from Oxford University Press. The collection includes subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, and reference works in more than twenty subject areas. NOTE: Only 1 simultaneous user allowed.
Oxford Reference Online Premium brings together over 175 titles in the Oxford Companions and Oxford Dictionaries series plus the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. All of the reference titles can be searched at once. More than twenty subject areas are covered.
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization serving member colleges and universities by providing access to a large database of machine-readable social science data sets.
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) in a not-for-profit organization providing social sciences quantitative data sets. Subjects in this database include: political science, sociology, demography, history, economics, communication, international relations, gerontology, public health, criminal justice, and education. The archives include almost all major social science studies, including American National Election Study, Eurobarometer, General Social Survey and International Social Survey Program, decennial Census of Population and Housing, Voter News Service exit polls, US Congressional and UN roll call votes, National Crime Victimization Survey, and public opinion polls. Numeric data sets and documentation are contributed by government agencies, organization, research centers, and individual researchers.
A mapping application that lets users quickly create professional-quality thematic maps and reports using powerful demographic, business, and marketing data. Works best with Firefox or Safari. There are known compatibility issues with Chrome when accessing off-campus or through campus WiFi. NOTE: Only 5 simultaneous users allowed.
SimplyAnalytics (was SimplyMap) provides users the most current demographic, business, and marketing data available. It provides the following nation-wide data: Demographic Variables: Population, Age, Race, Income, Ancestry, Marital Status, Housing, Employment, Transportation, Families, and more. Historical census data: including 1980, 1990 & 2000, plus current year census estimates and 5 year projections. Business Variables: Detailed Consumer Expenditure, Business & Employee Counts by Industry (by NAICS Code), Consumer Price Index, Quality of Life & Consumer Profiles, and Market Segments. Life Stage Clusters are a neighborhood classification system based on the crucial factors (84 Possible Life Stages based upon: Age of Head of Households; Marital Status; and Household Income) that determine life's key decisions. EASI/Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI) Propensity Data: Produces current estimates of usage and consumption (propensity) for thousands of very specific and detailed products, including actual brand data, details of frequency of usage, and more; annually prepares estimates for about 3,000+ MRI categories of propensities using updated demographic estimates; and Propensity Data incorporates the following data: Automotive, Beverages, Sports, Ailments/Remedies, Apparel, Appliances, Attitudes/Lifestyles, Baby, Computers, Electronics, Family Restaurants, and Fast Food, Financial, Grocery, Insurance, Internet, Leisure, Media, Personal Care, Pets, Purchasing, Telephony, Travel. Health: Answers to frequently asked questions about disease, health status, doctor visits and more; Health Questions Age 18+ & under 18; and Death Causes Since there is some training required in order to understand a few concepts related to mapping, we highly recommend that you watch our 6 minute tutorial to get the most out of SimplyAnalytics. The tutorial can be accessed by clicking on the "Tutorial" link in the top right corner of SimplyAnalytics.
NOTE: Only 5 simultaneous users allowed.
Perform a scoped Google search for statistical information online. Here's an example of a search that is limited to .gov webpages:
Search: Dallas homeless statistics site:gov
Authors sometimes make their instruments accessible to others. When shared, they are often appended to journal articles and dissertations, but they might also be found in books and on web sites.
There are two primaries ways to search for these measures & tests using UTA Libraries resources. The most straight-forward way is to look in the Mental Measurements Yearbook database.
Provides users with a comprehensive guide to over 3,000 contemporary testing instruments. Designed for an audience ranging from novice test consumers to experienced professionals, the MMY series contains information essential for a complete evaluation of test products within diverse areas. NOTE: Only 4 simultaneous users allowed.
This resource also integrates the complete Tests in Print database, which is also produced by the Buros Center for Testing at the University of Nebraska. Tests in Print (TIP) serves as a comprehensive bibliography to all known commercially available tests that are currently in print in the English language.
NOTE: Only 4 simultaneous users allowed.
The second way requires some strategic searching in the PsycINFO database.
This database is devoted to peer-reviewed literature in behavioral science and mental health.
The American Psychological Association's abstracts of scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and dissertations in the behavioral sciences and mental health. Covers the professional and academic literature in psychology and related disciplines including medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, education, pharmacology, physiology, linguistics, and other areas. Indexing and abstracting of articles from nearly 10,000 journals, book chapters, books, and dissertations. Links to full text in the PsycARTICLES database as well as other full-text EBSCOhost databases.
PsycINFO has a Tests & Measures search field. In order to search for articles that have used a measure on a specific topic, enter a very broad key term in the search field, and use the dropdown to select Tests & Measures.
The image above shows what a search for measures related to suicide risk and suicidality might look like. In the search bar, the suicid* is our search term, which will pick up any variations on the word suicide. The TM Tests & Measures selection from the dropdown tells the database that our key term must appear in the Tests & Measures field.
However, this does not guarantee that the measure that was used in the study will appear in the article. Sometimes measures are appended to the article, in which case, you might want to try a search that includes a second search line with the key term append* and the dropdown Tests & Measures. See image below.
Within the results of the above search, you should find one or more of the measures used in the study attached as an appendix or within the text of the article.